Want to know how to achieve the benefits of intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting (IF) is all the diet and fitness rage right now. If you look online, there are countless articles, opinions, and videos on intermittent fasting and how it works for you. There are many benefits to IF. Bottom line, it can facilitate fat burning and muscle gain, along with many other benefits. It is how we, as humans, have evolved.
Food wasn't always available as it is today. However, I have noticed that IF is not as friendly for women's bodies, and there are not many studies done on the effects on women. As an all-natural birth control practitioner (in other words, I'm not on birth control and I track my cycle), I have ways to make my body a guinea pig for intermittent fasting. Here's how to achieve the benefits of intermittent fasting.
1. I Found a Method That Works Best for Me
Finding what works for you is the first step in learning how to achieve the benefits of intermittent fasting. There are many different types of intermittent fasting. You can skip breakfast and make that a 15-16 hour fast. You can establish a “feeding window.” Or you can go 24 hours without eating much. I decided to opt for fasting most of the day and eating a little, just to see how it affected my cycle. My ovulation was delayed about a week. So, my body went into, “don't try to make babies!” or “survival” mode. That didn't work for me.
2. I Tweaked a Method to Work Better for Me
When I tried a moderate intermittent fasting approach, where I eat only 500-600 calories total and do only yoga, I realized I was cold, my blood sugar was low, and I slowly crawled to the finish line in the evening with short, clipped sentences for my husband. This was not a way to make myself feel alert, energetic, and strong. So, I started eating dinner on those days. Much better! I started to feel the effects of being alert, energetic, and vibrant.
3. I Had More Energy
The day after fasting, I feel so light and buoyant. I bounce out of bed and am ready to start the day. My energy for working out is amazing. After a few weeks of IF twice a week, I noticed a bit more muscle definition as well.
4. I Added Detox on Fasting Days
I started incorporating activated charcoal on fasting days (sometimes Wednesdays, mostly Sundays now) in order to detox. So on IF days, I hydrate a lot, drink ginger lemon tea, take activated charcoal pills, and take time to reflect on things. It's an amazing day to do some Yin yoga to help recover from your beast days and keep your body flexible.
Am I saying this method will work for everyone? No. IF can be good, but it is not for everyone. Everyone's metabolism is different, and everyone's reactions and hormones are going to react differently. Do your research. I know what worked for me, but only after several weeks of trying different stuff. You have to be willing to test yourself and be a guinea pig. Find what feels good, what works for you. If you're sluggish, and your brain feels like it's in a fog, you're probably not doing it right. Feed yourself - you need food! IF is amazing if you find a way that works for your body and your needs, are able to get in touch with yourself, and burn fat along the way.